Glory slip to damaging defeat against Wanderers

Glory’s Liberty A-League Finals hopes were all but extinguished on Saturday as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat against Western Sydney Wanderers at Wanderers Park.

View full match highlights HERE.

A win would have sent Alex Epakis’ side level on points with their opponents who currently occupy sixth place, but instead they now sit six points adrift of the red-and-blacks with two games left to play.

The only goal of a cagey contest arrived early in the second half, Sophie Harding taking her tally against Glory this season to three with a fine, dipping strike from just outside the box.

Neither goalkeeper was seriously troubled in a first half almost completely devoid of goalmouth action, with Sham Khamis comfortably gathering a long-range Hana Lowry free-kick and Morgan Aquino responding in kind at the other end to keep out a speculative effort from Amy Chessari.

After Lowry and Susan Phonsongkham threatened for the visitors early in the second half, Wanderers struck what proved to be the decisive blow on the counter.

Danika Matos picked out Harding in a pocket of space between two defenders just outside the box and after bringing the ball down, Western Sydney’s leading scorer thumped a spectacular shot over the head of Aquino and into the net.

Epakis responded by clearing his bench in the final quarter, handing an ALW debut to WA teenager Tanika Lala who made a lively cameo.

But the Wanderers defence held firm to lock down a victory which gave their Finals prospects a huge boost, while simultaneously leaving Glory’s hanging by the finest of threads.

Match Details

Liberty A-League 2023/24 Season Round 20

Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Harding 53′) Perth Glory 0

Half-time: 0-0

Wanderers Football Park

Saturday 16 March 2024

Referee: Isabella Mossin

Western Sydney Wanderers squad: 20.Sham KHAMIS (GK), 2.Vicky BRUCE, 4.Madison MCCOMASKY, 5.Lauren KEIR (23.Ella ABDUL-MASSIH 81′), 6.Amy CHESSARI, 7.Amy HARRISON, 8.Olivia PRICE (22.Ischia BROOKING 86′), 9.Sophie HARDING, 11.Danika MATOS, 14.Ella BUCHANAN (15.Cushla RUE 71′), 25.Holly CASPERS (18.Malia MORRIS 46′)

Substitutes not used: 1.Kaylie COLLINS (GK)

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Perth Glory: 1.Morgan AQUINO (GK), 3.Jessika COWART, 4.Natasha RIGBY (c), 7.Liz ANTON, 8.Hana LOWRY, 9.Millie FARROW (11.Grace JALE 63′), 10.Susan PHONSONGKHAM, 13.Sarah CAIN, 18.Sadie LAWRENCE (23.Isobel Dalton 63′), 19.Izzy FOLETTA (31.Clara HOARAU 79′), 20.Quinley QUEZADA (26.Tanika LALA 79′)

Substitutes not used: 24.Sally JAMES (GK)

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None